This is a collection of photos I took at the Campechada today, which was dedicated to Myrna Báez. La Campechada is all about art, music and performance in the streets of Old San Juan. I had the opportunity to watch wonderful and amazing performances from the dance company, Andanza, the theater company Y no había luz, and from the master, Deborah Hunt. Enjoy!
I have been so busy lately, that I haven’t been able to post anything in here. Let’s hope I can can change that, soon. These photos were taken in March, this year, in the Puppeteer Fest that takes place at several venues around here. I took awesome photos of the “Cantastoria” event, where actors sing and tell a story using hand-made moving scrolls and posters. Anyhow, I’ll shut up and let you enjoy the pics.
La Campechada is a festival that celebrates art, performance and music. It started a few years back and it seems to get better each time. You can see theater plays at different plazas in Old San Juan, along with artisans, painters, food kiosks and musicians. Here are a few photos I took that afternoon on November 17, 2013. I guess I wanted to capture the movement in this performance by “Y no había luz.”
For a second consecutive year, Old San Juan opened all of its museums and parks to welcome visitors in order to celebrate ‘La Campechada.’ It all began last year will many activities for the whole family, including live music and performances on the Plazas and streets, artisans, and of course, food, to celebrate the life of José Campeche, the first known Puerto Rican visual artist. This year’s Campechada was dedicated to Francisco Oller, the first Latin American to influence the Impressionism movement. The Campechada ran fom Friday the 12th to Sunday the 14th of October. I could only attend on Sunday and saw two live performances. There were many simultaneous plays and other things going on at the same time, so I had to choose which ones to go to. The first one was a modern dance dedicated to pigeons. It was held at Plaza de Armas.
These silent performers spoke without words. No need to explain their statement of what big corporations have done to society these days…
Overall, it was a great activity. I hope to go to next year’s as well. I think it’s good to celebrate the lives of artists who have left their legacy for us to enjoy today.
Epiphany, January the 6th, or 3 Kings Day is a big holiday for hispanic people all over the world. We get to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus and the belief that 3 kings from the Middle East came to visit and honor him with gifts in Bethlehem. So, everybody exchanges gifts and children get toys and all that, but I decided to go see Balún and Mima at ‘Y no había luz’s’ studio theater.
When you got there, you had to leave your shoes on a table at the entrance. They had conditioned the floors with cushions and comforters. That way everyone could sit down and enjoy the show without inconveniencing those behind you. I love the way they had set up the stage.
They also had set up an improvised bar where they sold beer and other beverages. You can see some of the theater’s props hanging around. ‘Y no había luz’ specializes in puppeteering, stop motion and short sketches. I like the bomb lamp.
Balún opened the show and they were glorious. I love their music so much that if in my lifetime, someone ever approaches me with the desire to make my novel into a movie, I will definitely have Balún to do the music score. I like how they combine electronic sounds with musical toy instruments, like the piano-flute and the toy xylophone.
Nora plays the bass and the tiple, and she is wonderful.
Angélica plays violin, accordion, and other instruments, plus, she sings beautifully.
Balún also invited other musicians to join them, but I don’t know all of their names. What you see in the center is a box with grass. The night before 3 Kings Day, you’re supposed to prepare a box with grass and a bowl of water for the kings’ camels to eat and drink. You have to leave those under the Christmas tree, where your gifts magically appear next morning. Some people even leave milk and cookies for the kings…, of course they all do this for their kids. I remember my parents helping me and my siblings out, choosing a nice shoe box and picking up the greenest grass, and have it all ready under the tree for the kings to come and leave presents.
This is when Mima came in to join everyone. The fusion they made was exquisite. Wish I had a video camera to record some of it.
And here is a last one of Mima and Angélica playing the musical saw. It’s a shame the photo did not come out so clear.
To make up for the missing sounds in this post, I have searched over You Tube and found a lovely clip from Balún. Hope you like it.
And I also found an experimental video someone made, with one of my favorite songs from Mima, Damen.
And yet, another video. This is Mima playing live the song, ‘Agua Fría’.
Mima has a website too:
Hope you get to check out their awesome music!